Stats imply that Poch has made a strange major tactical change this season

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Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Dom Le Roy

A hallmark of Tottenham under the stewardship of Mauricio Pochettino has been that their ability to press high up the pitch and win the ball back in the final third.

In fact, the intensity that the team showed on the pitch in his first three seasons in charge immediately saw fans fall in love with his philosophy.

Spurs also enjoyed a lot of success playing that way as they challenged for the title for two successive seasons only to come up short ultimately.

However, it looks like the Spurs manager has moved away from his high pressing style and adopted a more conservative approach.

Sky Sports revealed through UEFA’s newly-published technical report that of all their games, Tottenham registered the lowest number of high pressing sequences last season in the Champions League final with just 64 attempts.

Further, this looks like a trend rather than an anomaly as even at the start of this season, Spurs have only won possession in the final third 9 times in the first four games of the season, putting them 16th among Premier League sides.

Their average of 2.3 times per game so far this season represents a significant drop off from the 4.2 times per game that they won the ball in the final third last season, and 4.4 the season before.

This clearly indicates that Pochettino has been willing to sit back more and play on the counter rather than winning the ball high up the pitch.

Spurs Web Opinion

It is important that we don’t read too much into these stats as 4 games is hardly a big enough sample space to make sweeping conclusions. However, it is noticeable that Tottenham are more willing to opt for a low block against the big sides as witnessed against Manchester City and Arsenal.

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